Posted February 6, 2016on:
This tweet made me pause for thought and to recall what I think about “the future” of schooling and education.
Individuals and collectives that perpetuate the rhetoric of being “future ready” might be wasting their energy. The only thing we can say about the future is that it is uncertain.
We might know what is going to happen in 15 minutes. But how about what is going to happen in 15 hours, 15 days, 15 weeks, 15 months, or 15 years? How certain are we of determining the future the further away it is?
This perspective does not mean that we ignore the future or not try to prepare for it. Instead, it helps us think about more concrete actions.
You cannot be future-ready because you cannot predict it; you can try to be prepared because you can shape what happens now. Trying to be ready is an impossible state of being; being prepared is a constant state of mind.
Part of our effort to shape the future is recognising that segments of our community or population are stuck in the past, perhaps due to circumstances beyond their control, e.g., they are born on the disadvantaged side of a divide. Their future is our current, so we need to bring them forward.
Consider a few examples. We have kids who do not have access to current technologies. We also have kids that have access but do not have permission due to outdated rules and policies. We put all those kids in classrooms that are kept separate from the wider world. These classrooms focus on content and curriculum (learning about) instead of context (learning to be).
Blindly focusing on the uncertain future and trying in vain to be ready for it could be selfish and wasteful. Focusing on the now and near-term future of the have-nots — and there will always be have-nots — is certainly a more giving and productive mission.